Cheaper alternative to Dazzle?

Hi all. I’m trying to help out a buddy here. He’s got a Hi-8 camera that he wants to use to transfer video’s to his PC. He was looking at Pinnacle’s Dazzle and I told him I thought there should be a cheaper way since he doesn’t need much in the way of editing or ins and outs on the dongle.

He just needs an RCA to USB cable which I’m assuming we could get at Monoprice and then we would just need some software. In the audio world I know there’s plenty of free software for converting file’s and I assume the same is true for video?

Thanks in advance for any help!

In doing some more reading I see that a capture card may be necessary? His PC is a laptop running Vista and his ultimate goal is to get the home movies onto DVD.

If there’s no real cheap way to do this other than a commercial program and dongle like the Pinnacle unit your thought’s on that unit or other alternatives are appreciated as well.

Did some more reading. I see that RCA to USB isn’t possible.

I just talked to him and he said he has S-Video in on his laptop. I’m not too up on video card’s, but does that sound like his card can handle the job without an outside device?

Maybe there’s a cable to go from RCA to S-Video since both are analog and then we could go right into the video card?

Hi,[quote=aman74;2060860]
I just talked to him and he said he has S-Video in on his laptop. I’m not too up on video card’s, but does that sound like his card can handle the job without an outside device?[/quote]No. Won’t work since this is an output only. Designed to connect a TV set.

Apart from “Video Capturing” devices like Dazzle etc., the only alternative would be Firewire (IEEE1394) if both, notebook and camera are equipped with such an interface.

Michael

I am pretty sure Hi8 cameras won’t have an IEEE1394 since it is an analogue format.

Since alternatives were requested, might I suggest getting a cheap standalone DVD recorder that has a S-Video IN socket? Far less hassle than doing the PC conversion, and by the time hardware and software has been bought, probably cheaper.